Bayern Publishes New Book

Press Date
October 22, 2021
Professor Bayern's Book Cover

FSU Law Professor Shawn Bayern recently published a new book, “Autonomous Organizations,” which sets out the legal, social, and political implications of software programs gaining legal personhood. Under current business law, it is already possible to give legal personhood, or a very close surrogate of it, to software systems of any kind. This means that robots could enter into contracts, serve as legal agents, or own property, and companies could be run by non-human agents. Bayern argues that autonomous or zero-person organizations offer an opportunity for useful new types of interactions between software and the law. The book explores the social and political aspects of these new organizational structures and their implications for legal theory. Bayern, the Larry and Joyce Beltz Professor of Torts and associate dean for academic affairs, focuses his research on common-law issues, primarily in contracts, torts, and organizational law. Before his legal career, Bayern was a software developer and wrote several books and articles about computer programming.
Professor Bayern said, “This book grew out of my work here teaching the Closely Held Business Organizations course. The book is an example of how the development of creative types of transactions can yield interesting new possibilities—in this case, the surprising ability of software systems or robots to interact with the legal system. Hopefully it will be of interest to business lawyers and technology lawyers.”

Published on October 22, 2021